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Here’s a good activity to teach kindness and build social skills (Sensitivity Training)
9, 8, 7, 6
Title – Complimentary Round Table
By – Rose Guzauskas
Primary Subject – Other
Secondary Subjects – Other
Grade Level – 6-9
Objective-to enhance social skills development by illustrating how our words affect people.
You will need two apples and a knife. Seat a group of 6-8 at a round table. Take one apple and say something mean to it (Examples–“I hate you.” “I don’t want to be around you.”) and drop it to the floor. The next person picks it up, is mean to the apple, and drops it. This continues around the table a couple times as everyone take turns being mean to it and dropping it. Cut that apple in half and lay it in the center of the table allowing it to brown. Take the other apple and as each participant takes a turn holding the apple, everyone else in the group takes turns complimenting or affirming the person holding the apple. Continue until everyone in the group has been complimented by everybody else.
Lead the participants in a discussion of how it felt to be complimented? Were they easy to receive? Why or why not? What was easier, being mean or giving compliments? Why?
Ask who wants the brown, battered apple on the table? No one, of course. Discuss how a lot of people feel like that apple, all bruised and battered because they’ve heard mean things all their lives. They feel like no one cares about them and no one wants to be their friend. Explain that our words can make people feel like that apple.
Children and adults alike respond well to this activity. In the classroom, social skills are developed as children are more sensitive to the feelings of others.
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